Skills

Taxonomy, Labeling, Metadata & Navigation

I'm an expert at organizing and labeling sites so customers can find content quickly and easily.

How your site is organized is one of the most important aspects of site design. If your categories are mislabeled or your content and products are incorrectly categorized, customers will have a hard time finding what they need.

When creating a new site taxonomy, I first look at:

  • Site traffic metrics, especially heat maps of current navigation.
  • Google and internal search keywords to determine customer language
  • Competitor site categorization
  • Internal business requirements
  • Usabilty testing (e.g., card sorting and tree testing).
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Wireframes & Functional Specifications

At Siteworx, we use Axure for wireframing and to create interactive prototypes. We used to annotate our functional specifications in InDesign, but recently we moved to a Web-based method using Confluence.

I've also used Balsamiq Mockups for concepting and informal wireframing, because its sketch-like look encourages more brainstorming and feedback from clients.

 

Training Site Wireframe

Annotated Interaction Designs

Well-written, clear annotation is critical for having complicated designs and interactions built properly by developers—especially if you use the waterfall method of development.

 

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Card Sorting & Navigation Tree Testing

It's critical to test new category labels to make sure they are intuitive to customers. You'll often be very surprised at what keywords customers actually use.

You can do quick and inexpensive card sorting and tree testing online with customers using optimalsort.com and websort.net

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Usability Testing

There's no substitute for testing your designs and prototypes with customers one on one—it's the gold-standard for determining the best user experience.

I've led almost every aspect of usability testing—from creating customer profiles, screeners, and scripts to running tests with customers and analyzing the results.


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Content Standards & Style Guides

Your site's content is just as vital to your brand and usability as any design element—then why do so many web teams have great design style guides and nothing at all for content?

Without a content style guide for your writers and your HTML/CMS production team, you'll never have good, consistent content on your site.

The key tricky bit about style guides is that you need to create one that people will actually want to follow—so it has to be clear, concise, and useful. Your team has to see it as saving, not costing, them time and effort.

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